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NJ Transit to get $83 million from feds to upgrade East Orange station. Here's what's planned.

NJ Transit to get $83 million from feds to upgrade East Orange station
NJ Transit to get $83 million from feds to upgrade East Orange station 01:47

EAST ORANGE, N.J. -- Thanks to a federal grant, a busy train station in New Jersey is getting some much-needed upgrades.

The goal is to make the Brick Church station in East Orange more accessible to everyone.

On Tuesday, NJ Transit officials announced the agency will get a federal grant worth $83 million to modernize the station that will include making it more accessible to commuters with disabilities.

The funding came from the bipartisan infrastructure bill that Congress passed in 2021. More than $5 billion from the bill has gone to New Jersey so far. NJ Transit has gotten $1.6 billion.

Veronica Vanterpool, the acting administrator of the Federal Transit Administration, was in East Orange on Tuesday to make the announcement.

"We are going to invest in our aging infrastructure to make sure that it's accessible and equitable," Vanterpool said.

"It really will make an incredible difference to the countless residents and enhance their quality of life," NJ Transit CEO Kevin Corbett said.

A massive new transit-oriented development is going up next door to the Brick Church station, which means more riders than ever will be catching a train there.

Now, it's a race to bring the historic station into the 21st century. The project is expected to be completed in phases over the next four years. The plan is to keep the station open the whole time.

Local riders with disabilities approve

Joan Edwards says at her age she'd rather take an elevator when possible.

"The stairs is really difficult to climb," Edwards said.

But at the Brick Church station, which opened in 1921, there are no elevators. So commuters are forced to take the steps, or go to a different station.

However, with two new elevators and raising the platform planned, riders like Edwards won't have to climb up onto the train.

"Yes, surely, certainly, it would help," Edwards said.

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